Texas Standard For January 18, 2021

Is there a doctor in the House? At least one COVID-19 case reported among Texas lawmakers and what that may mean for getting back to business at the Texas Capitol, we’ll have the latest. And: President-elect Joe Biden says one of the first things he’ll do after inauguration is rejoin the Paris climate accords but new research from Texas A&M suggests one of the targets for temperature limits is already on track to being exceeded. Game over? Not quite. We’ll hear why and what comes next. Also: Federal officials approve new standards of health care in a crisis for people with disabilities. So what changes in Texas? Plus: Amid a new reckoning on race, remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All of those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 18, 2021 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, January 18, 2021. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

COVID-19 Case in Texas House

The first week of the Texas Legislature has many wondering if the Capital is poised to be the next superspreader event. Ross Ramsey, executive editor of The Texas Tribune, talks to the Standard talks about what safeguards are in place after the confirmation of at least one lawmaker diagnosed as having COVID-19.

Revised Disability Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines

Civil rights groups in the state have been working throughout the coronavirus pandemic to make sure Texans with disabilities can safely get the care they need. Disability Rights Texas recently announced new, federally approved guidelines laying out standards of care for people with disabilities during a crisis – something Texas hasn’t had in place before. Lisa Snead, attorney for Disability Rights Texas, talks to the Standard.

Exxon Profile

ExxonMobil is based in Irving, but a large part of its workforce is located in the world’s energy capital: Houston. Houston Public Media’s Kyra Buckley wanted to know what the recent energy economic downturn means for the future of ExxonMobil and its relationship to Houston.

Commentary: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

For much of 2020, scholars and journalists were making comparisons between the racial reckoning of that year and of 1968. Just a little over two weeks into 2021, the comparisons continue to be drawn with the year of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Today, on Martin Luther King Day, commentator Peniel Joseph examines some of those parallels and what Dr. King himself might have made of them.

 Worker Visa Ban

Last year, President Trump issued a travel ban for people entering the United States with certain types of work visas. It was supposed to expire at the end of the year. But on New Year’s Eve, Trump extended the ban to the end of March. Some workers who were outside the U.S. when the ban was put into place, have since been able to return. As KERA’’s Stella Chavez reports though, many are still stuck overseas.

1954 Attack on the U.S. Senate by Puerto Rican Nationalists

This month’s attack on the U.S. Capitol Building was not the only time protestors stormed in. In 1954, four people from the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party entered the House gallery, armed, and began shooting onto the floor as they unfurled a Puerto Rican flag. University of Kentucky professor Karrieann Soto Vega talks to the Standard about this event.

New Climate Report

Joe Biden says the U.S. is rejoining the Paris Agreement, the international climate treaty aimed at limiting global warming. The goal of the agreement is to keep global temperatures optimally from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. New research, however, indicates we’re on track to pass that mark – maybe 2.5 more degrees based on emissions already in our atmosphere. Is it already too late? We’ll ask Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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